As the most visited and used place in the home, the kitchen is where people usually love to eat and enjoy other company. Many prepare meals and drinks alone or with others. But for an easier time preparing things, a well-equipped kitchen with a good layout is a necessity.
Functional appliances make it easier to cook and serve delightful food at home. Homeowners usually choose a set which includes a range and maybe a cooktop, a refrigerator/freezer, a dishwasher, and maybe a microwave for added convenience. A range hood is necessary to exhaust kitchen smoke and smells, while a separate wall oven lets you prepare other items at the same time.
We look at one of the most-used home appliances in the kitchen, the refrigerator/freezer.
Basic unit of store: The refrigerator
A refrigerator is one of the most important purchases a homeowner makes, the most common kitchen appliance along with a stovetop or range. The best models are energy efficient and feature versatile and flexible storage. A good model should have easy-to-adjust controls and maintain stable temperatures. As a refrigerator is so prominent in your kitchen, you should choose one which fits in with the house decor.
Refrigerators come in top-freezer, bottom-freezer, side-by-side, counter-height, and compact types. There’s a variety to fit many budgets and styles, but the most commonly purchased models for the home are the popular top-freezer and side-by-side types.
One of the more popular ones is the top-freezer, with the coldest compartment at the top. This is the most convenient configuration for frequently storing lots of frozen and retrieving frozen items throughout the day. The side-by-side type is a good compromise which allows equally convenient access to the refrigerator side. Bottom-freezer models are known for better energy efficiency and provide easiest access to the refrigerated section, but frozen food at the bottom is less easy to get at. Compact units can be useful in other rooms, particularly at a bar or pool area or in the bedroom.
Although there some exotic types with rare features like French doors or slim tower forms, the most popular are already among the most reliable and affordable kitchen appliances. The popular brands and models tend to be among the more reliable choices. Many top-selling models are not too expensive, while the rarer types are usually priced to match their high style or functional advantages.
A through-the-door dispenser for ice and water is the one feature most buyers request. But these are more likely to require repairs later on. Dispensers also consume more energy and take away space from the interior.
Things to know and check
- Available kitchen space
- Daily use between refrigerator and freezer
- Pathway to kitchen station
- Mounting dimensions for counter units
- Quiet operation
- Dispenser needs vs. reliability
Good refrigerator features
- appropriate layout
- large capacity
- good lighting
- maintains temperatures
- energy efficiency
- Easy-to-operate controls
- Convenience dispensers
It’s important to select a unit which fits in the available space and has enough capacity for the amount of food and the number of people who will be using it. Aside from the need to fit alongside an existing countertop, one must also check to see if a counter-height model has to slide onto or into existing cabinets.
The direction of the door swing must also be taken into consideration. You must ensure the refrigerator door opens in the direction which works best for your kitchen space. Some models have reversible doors which can be adjusted to your kitchen’s configuration. You should measure the path to your kitchen from the front entrance, to see if your chosen model can make it through the doorways and other obstacles all the way to its station.
Many complain about their refrigerator making much noise. If the kitchen area is near the bedroom, or if you have an especially low tolerance for loud sounds, then a quieter model may be a priority. Then again, if you’re just looking for another fridge to be kept in the garage or some other place away from living areas, noise may not matter too much.